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Word Count: 2,238
Excellent wretch perdition catch my soul But I do love thee and when I love thee not Chaos is come again Othello 33 91-93 In Othello by William Shakespeare Othello and Desdemona run away to get married and attempt to build a life together despite their differences in age race and experience Their marriage is ruined by the jealous Iago who convinces Othello that Desdemona is cheating on him with Cassio Shakespeare builds his characters with every part of the play Desdemona is a complex character who tries to live how she wants to however most Elizabethans would have seen her as disobedient and disrespectful She develops from a courageous rebellious person in the beginning to lying in her bed prepared for her death However from the beginning of the play until the end she remains loyal to her husband and even after he attempted to kill her she still was loyal and announced that she committed suicide Othello was first published in 1622 It was first performed in 1604 and it is one of Shakespeares great tragedies On one level Othello is an examination of the differences between the public and private spheres of civilized life As represented in the play private life is the site of true and spontaneous love while public life is the site of ritualized courtship But as is no less strongly represented private life is also the site of deadly deception while public life is the site of truth and justice Othello may also be a play about knowledge It shows us how mental categories such as those of race and sexuality which we rely upon in forming our knowledge and experience of the world are misleading and potentially destructive In terms of race Desdemonas father has a specific idea of the sort of man who should marry his daughter The fact that Othello does not fit the type makes Brabantio die of grief In terms of sexuality it
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